5 tips for maximising natural light

A photograph of a plant pot standing on a windowsill, lit by natural light. Out of the window the rest of the building is visible, as is a large playing field and fence.

Living in a home with an abundance of natural light has many benefits: it reduces eye strain, improves your sleeping, requires less electricity, and generally makes the place look and feel more aesthetically pleasing.

While maximising natural light should be a strong consideration when designing a property, if you’re unfortunate enough to have moved into a home that doesn’t get much natural light, there are still ways to improve your situation.

1 – Harness the mirror effect

As mirrors reflect rather than absorb light, the more mirrors (or reflective/shiny surfaces in general) you install in a room, the brighter it will appear. Regardless of whether you have a modern or traditional property, you’re sure to be able to find a selection of mirrors which will heighten the ambiance and natural light of any room. Although elaborate, Venetian mirrors are certainly an exquisite choice, you can improve the natural light with a standard household mirror from your local DIY store.

2 – Maximise light intake from your windows

Some window treatments such as Roman blinds can help to create a particular aesthetic, but if light intake is your goal, then they are not ideal. Instead, consider alternative window treatments such as translucent drapes that let in as much light as possible. Trim your hedges if they block the sunshine and remove any clutter from the windowsill. Cleaning your windows on a regular basis will also remove and dirt or debris, which helps maximise light intake.

3 – Choose the right furnishings

Light colours reflect light while dark colours absorb it. If you want to create a light, illuminated room (or the illusion of one), always choose light colours for your fabrics. Additionally, try to position your furnishings in ways that allows a perfect stream of light into the room. If possible, choose furniture with reflective surfaces, such as glass tables.

4 – Repaint walls

While it’s important not to redecorate your walls in a way that is stylistically at odds with the rest of your property, repainting walls in light and neutral colours can make a huge amount of difference in terms of a room’s ambiance. Tan and light greys are always safe choices if you’re not sure.

However, be aware that light (both artificial and natural) will affect the colour of your walls in subjective ways. The colour you choose in the shop won’t necessarily look how you expected when it’s on your wall, so always consult with a professional before choosing.

5 – Replace traditional doors with glass and french doors

Replacing traditional, solid doors is definitely not a decision you should take lightly. However, if your goal is to dramatically improve the amount of natural light entering a dingy room or hallway, improving your door is an excellent option.

French doors not only let in more light, but they also can create a majestic ambiance for a room, which in turn can actually improve the value of the property – excellent if you’re trying to make some last minute improvements before a big sale.

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